James Dyson on Brexit: Progress in EU talks "not enough", UK heading towards "no deal" and "uncertainty is an opportunity"

Lynsey Barber
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The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Launch Event
The vacuum entrepreneur is not concerned that there will be no deal with the EU (Source: Getty)

One of the UK's leading entrepreneurs, James Dyson, has said not enough progress is being made in Brexit talks and that the likely result is that no deal will be reached with Europe, but that "uncertainty is an opportunity".

"I think Britain is putting forward very positive suggestions, and they're not being reciprocated by the other side, but that doesn't particularly surprise me and I suspect we will have to leave without a deal," he said speaking on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme on Thursday morning.

It's likely that the UK will end up under the regulation of the World Trade Organisation, he said, contending that it "will frankly hurt the Europeans more thant the British"

The well-known Brexit supporting billionaire businessman said such an outcome would not damage his own business and that the maker of cordless vacuums and hairdryers would not need a transitional arrangement after the UK officially breaks with the region in March 2019.

"It think it's quite wrong to call it a single market, it's a series of different markets with different languages, different marketing required and different laws and in our case different plugs and so we don't view it as a single market. It's a highly complex and broken up market," he said.

The stance on a transition deal is in contrast with the majority of the business world, which has called for a period of adjustment. Chancellor Philip Hammond this week outlined the government's hope for a transitional period for trade.

But Dyson dismissed concerns raised by the boss of John Lewis Sir Charlie Mayfield that Brexit uncertainty would damage the economy, saying "uncertainty is an opportunity".

It comes as Dyson welcomed future engineers to its institute of technology where they will embark on a degree and "learn from some of the best engineers in the world". Dyson set up the school in association with the University of Warwick to address the lack of graduates in science, technology and engineering in Britain.

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